There's a lot more to Chinese cuisine than General Tso's chicken.
These dishes have been hiding in plain sight, but once you finally take the plunge, you'll
wonder how you ever lived without them.
In the mood for lo mein?
Try ordering chow fun instead.
You'll be surprised by how well this dish of flat, wide rice noodles cooked in a perfectly
light coating of sauce hits the spot.
Less over-the-top saucy than many other Chinese takeout dishes, chow fun is an ideal choice
for highlighting good noodles and great protein like beef, chicken, tofu, or shrimp.
This Cantonese favorite of fat, fluffy noodles is stir-fried with your protein of choice
in a thick and delicious sauce.
As far as Chinese takeout dishes go, chow fun is worth revisiting time and time again.
All the Asian greens
In case you need a reminder, Asian greens are delicious.
Fresh tasting and savory, greens like bok choy, Chinese broccoli, and choy sum are prepared
in a couple of super scrumptious ways at most Chinese restaurants.
Whether they are gently steamed and paired with pungent oyster sauce or stir-fried with
ginger, garlic, and sesame oil, these greens are not to be missed.
The next time you're dining at your local Chinese eatery, be sure to order one or two
dishes of greens for the table.
Xiao long bao
Xiao long bao is a Shanghainese speciality of steamed soup-filled dumplings.
They are often served directly from their steamer baskets in groups of four, six, or
Served with Chinese vinegar on the side, these delectable little dumplings burst with juicy
pork broth when you bite into them, causing an unbelievable explosion of amazing flavor.
The best way to eat them?
Place one on a spoon, poke a hole in it, and take a bite.
Hopefully your spoon catches all that delicious broth.
Dan dan mein
Dan dan mein, also called dan dan noodles in the United States, is a wildly popular
street food in the Sichuan region of China.
Think piles of fresh noodles served in chili oil.
Some versions of this iconic dish include minced pork, mustard greens, or pickled veggies,
and others even boast extra ingredients like peanuts, scallions, soy sauce, and tongue-numbing
Szechuan peppercorns for an extra burst of flavor.
While there are many versions out there these days, dan dan noodles will always be distinctive
for their long, tender strands of noodles and fiery chili oil.
Ma po tofu
Ma po tofu is a must-order item for any self-proclaimed Chinese food connoisseur.
This dish consists of, obviously, tofu, but it's topped with boldly flavored minced pork,
which defies logic for vegetarians.
Fortunately, it makes perfect sense to this dish's legions of obsessive eaters.
Steeped in broth and tons of chili oil, ma po tofu is not for the faint of heart, as
it is beyond spicy.
If you love to sweat over your food as much as we do, then this dish is right up your
Go for it the next time you find yourself in your city's Chinatown.
A mainstay of dim sum, shumai is a delicious dish of steamed pork and shrimp dumplings,
although the pork can also be paired with minced scallop or crab meat.
A thin layer of dough is wrapped around the savory filling and steamed in baskets.
While you will always find shumai served during Chinese brunch, chances are your favorite
far east eatery offers them any time of day.
So if you see this one on the menu, don't hesitate, your tastebuds will thank you.
Sure, egg rolls are a staple Chinese restaurant appetizer, but they're not the only fried
delights on the menu.
Next time, skip the rolls and ask for a plate of fried wontons instead.
For a starter to share, egg rolls are pretty filling, wontons, on the other hand, are smaller
and come in larger quantities, making them feel more like a snack than a full-on appetizer.
Fried wontons are often served with an addictively good red-hued sweet and sour sauce alongside
Hainanese chicken rice
A popular dish in China as well as other parts of Asia, Hainanese chicken rice is a no-frills
The preparation is delicate and nuanced like the taste of the chicken itself, but never
The chicken is cooked at a low simmer until it's completely cooked through, and then it's
submerged in ice cold water until the skin pulls away from the meat.
Served with tender heaps of rice cooked in chili sauce and the broth from the chicken,
the dish is the ultimate comfort food.
Chicken feet, also called "phoenix claws" for obvious reasons, are a Chinese delicacy
if there ever was one.
And, sure, our western palettes may find their appearance and texture a little jarring at
But if you push past your preconceptions, you're in for a unique and tasty treat.
Chicken feet are prepared differently in different parts of China.
While they are frequently fried, steamed, and stewed in most cases, there are variations
out there that are simmered in sauce as well.
The intense cooking process renders the skin and tendons soft and easy to consume.
If you've never had the luxury of tasting authentic Chinese chicken's feet, do yourself
a favor and change that, ASAP.